When it comes to choosing a website or blog domain name for a law practice, context is everything. Recently I had a conversation with a local commercial real estate agent after he went shopping for a website domain name. I literally LOL’ed and almost spit coffee when he told me having the word “escort” in the .com of his chosen URL was “a great find.” (He was so happy—he was thinking police escort.)
I hated having to let him know his investment in that domain was for naught. And, since the whole “website tonight” package he had purchased could only be used for that one domain, he was out almost $200.
There are a few more things you’d be wise to consider when shopping for your domain name. My two cents:
- It must be short, easy to remember and easy to spell.
- It must conjure up an image of you (as in your smiling face) or of your brand—and by “brand” I mean one or two simple keywords that will lead to you every time: your name, your location, your practice specialty.
- You must look any domain over very carefully to be certain there are no “tits” “asses” “whore” or other inappropriate letter combos strung together. Just like my real estate friend learned, you have to consider context.
- If you buy a domain with an extension other than .com, be certain to investigate who owns the .com version. If it’s a person or business that could be confused with you, don’t buy. If there’s a published website offering the same or similar services as you, you need to find new keywords and the .com to go with them. Otherwise, you’re already starting in a hole SEO-wise. The established site will likely always rank higher than you because it has been live longer using them. (Sometimes the SEO stuff is just plain old common sense.) I’m no lawyer, but when I worked in the litigation department of a trademark/patent firm, the words “confusingly similar” were the ones that I recall never wanting to hear.
Finally, buying good domains gets addictive—and expensive. Unless you plan to sell it, don’t buy a domain with the idea that you’ll develop it “one day.” Unless your current website, blog and (ahem) law practice are all in order and working seamlessly, you’ve got better things to do with your time than play the domain lottery.
Andrea Cannavina is President/CEO of LegalTypist, Inc. She helps sole practitioners, law firms and companies that service the legal industry upgrade their business processes to digital in order to get more done with less—less employees, less equipment and less stress!
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